Mittwoch, 25. Juni 2014

FIND IT!!! - Loc8tor vs Marco Polo - Tracking Device Review

After my "Auronzo Debacle" (where I totally lost my biggest and most expensive Quad (Black Snapper) of course I did some research which tracking solution could prevent total losses in the future.
Friends of mine use GPS Trackers where you have to install a prepaid cellphone SIM Card and in case of a crash you SMS your GPS tracker and he sends his coordinates back. This sounds really well thought out BUT: if you fly in areas where you have no cellphone coverage - you won't hear from your device!

So a tracking device based on wireless signals is better. Here I found two promising devices:
Marco Polo Pet Tracker    and      Loc8tor

------Comparison:
Marco Polo:
+ 2 miles range! (in my tests easily 840m)
+ RC stripped down versions of tags relativly small and lightweight (12 or 24gr)
+ rechargeable batteries (1 month standby in larger tag!)
- bigger (both tag and handheld device)
- a bit more expensive (around 200$)

Loc8tor:
+ cheap (100$)
+ easy to use
+ small tags (5gr, 1,5cm)
+ small handheld
+/- tags "always on"   (waste energy, 2-5month livetime, but can't forget to turn on)
- batteries not chargeable (buy replacements and set a reminder!)
- range (157m max distance)

So it's hard to tell you which device is better. If you really do a lot longrange the Marco Polo will be better - because in case of a crash you will have to search a larger area. Loc8tor would be lost here if you have no downlink video and can´t estimate the crash location.
Loc8tor on the other hand is optimal let's say for the mini quads in the park. Even crashing a mini in higher grass can mean really long searches! - Loc8tor pays off here quick.

I keep both and will also use both and we'll see which one is better (altough I hope I would never activly have to use them - just as an insurance).

Important Update in Marco Polo:
You have to hold the locating device "like a can of water" (so that the LCD screen is facing the sky). This way the antennas have optimal reception and you get a solid pointer.
Also my tests here with the % value weren't conclusive. Up on the hill I had clear LOS, down on the half distance I was near to the ground, a tree blocked LOS so the value was the same altough the distance was much shorter...

Mittwoch, 18. Juni 2014

MiniQuad - fast proximity fun / stunts at work

Dieses schnelle MiniQuad Rennen hab ich natürlich an einem Wochenende gefilmt Boss! Ich denk mir oft, wenn ich wo unterwegs bin "...das wäre doch ein toller Ort für einen Stunt oder ein Video".
Diese Brücke bei der Wehr ist schon lange Thema bei uns in der Arbeit (Kollegen fliegen auch RC) und mit dem MiniQuad war's relativ leicht (aber die Kabel hätte ich fast übersehen!).
Der nette Park ist ebenfalls am Firmengelände und wurde schon in diesem Tricopter Video gezeigt

This is a fast paced race around my workplace (of course I did this on a weekend boss!). I often walk around (especially here because I have to every day) and see places and say to myself: this would make a good stunt / flight video ;-)
The highspeed flight under the bridge was a topic here with my colleagues (who also fly RC) ever since. Now with the quad not so much of a problem - but after diving there fullspeed I realized in the last moment there were some nasty cables...
The park is also on our company grounds - see here for an old tricopter video here: Tricopter Parkracer 

Sonntag, 15. Juni 2014

ImmersionRC 12km Longrange Zephyr II flight, Hover82

Ein FPV-Freund fragte mich nach einem guten Platz für einen Reichweiten Rekordversuch - also zeigte ich ihm diesen Hügel - toller Startplatz um über unbebautem Gebiet von erhöhtem Startpunkt aus weit zu fliegen. Er benutzt super Ausrüstung (z.B. den Ruby Autopilot, IBCrazys Pepperbox Antenne und vor allem das EzUHF JR Modul in der Taranis). Es gab keine Störung während des ganzen Fluges, Video und Steuerung waren immer stabil obwohl es sehr hohe Luftfeuchtigkeit hatte (nachher Regen). EzUHF auf Low Power, das kleine Taranis Modul steht also dem großen Bruder in nichts nach!
Die Kinder waren auch begeistert von der Technik und davon dass sie am Monitor mitschaun durften. Man muß halt ein wenig aufpassen, daß sie keine Kabel rausreissen...

My friend asked me for a good location to do a longrange flight - so we started up this hill. He flew only over unpopulated area, uses RUBY autopilot, a great videolink (incl IBCracy Pepperbox antenna!) and a very stable EzUHF JR Module in the new Taranis. The whole flight was without a glitch, only on LOW POWER mode of EzUHF and it was really high humidity (short after the flight it rained). So this 12km show the littel and cheap JR module doesn't stand behind it's bigger brother (the EzUHF Box)!
The kids also loved my public viewing screen and we had to keep them from crowding us in and maybe tear out a cable or so ;-)

Dienstag, 3. Juni 2014

FPV MniQuad speeding through woods & parks (close calls inclusive)

Schön langsam macht der kleine MiniQuad echt Spaß! Unglaublich wo der überall durchpasst! Es wirkt so als ob man mit einem großen Quad unterwegs wäre - nur ist halt nicht soviel "copter" rund um die Cam verbaut ;-)
Ich hab also schon einiges Material und wollte erst nur ein "Best Of" davon machen, aber so gefällts mir besser. Ein Danke an Hermann der mich da im Wald gefilmt hat!


What's your favourit "wow" monent in this video? Or did you find none? Tell me!

The mini's are such a hype now - and why? Just because you can have so much fun! Fly almost anywhere - you wouldn't believe how tight the gaps (between trees, obstacles) can be - and the mini still fits through. The flying is so intense - because the FPV image on the goggles is no defferent than while flying with a bigger quad - but when it comes to fly fast through a window - the big quad would fail ;-)

So I have really a lot of material collected in the last few weeks. Hard to judge what to include - but those 3 flights here were the first really amazing ones (I hope so!).

Thanks to Hermann for filming me in the woods (just behind our flightfield)!